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NLSC Podcast – Episode #245

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Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we catch up on an eventful week of basketball gaming news, discuss what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, and give our thoughts on the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • EA’s chief design officer Patrick Söderlund recently spoke out about the company’s reputation, and their intent to rehabilitate their image in the wake of the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy. We discuss how continuing to adopt a consumer-friendly model with NBA Live will surely benefit the brand moving forward.
  • A deal has been struck to broadcast the NBA 2K League exclusively on Twitch, which certainly seems like a good fit. Once again, we consider the League’s potential impact on the rest of us as we look ahead to NBA 2K19.
  • Saber Interactive has announced NBA Playgrounds 2 for a Summer 2018 release. We’re excited and hopeful for the sequel, but there are some key areas where it must show improvement.
  • Namo Gamo has released Basketball Classics on Steam Early Access. This new retro-inspired basketball gaming experience has a lot of potential, and is already quite impressive.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included taking on more challenges in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team, and a return to NBA 2K17. NLSC GrindTime may have also played its last session of 2K Pro-Am, at least for a while.
  • We wrap up Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast with some discussion of real basketball, including Andrew Bogut heading home to play in the NBL, the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Ben Simmons’ Rookie of the Year credentials.

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Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #244

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Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the submission of our Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19, a new event involving NBA Playgrounds, the beginning of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Our Week in Basketball Gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • As mentioned earlier in the week, our official Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 have been submitted to EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively. Since the topics are still open for discussion, we once again touch on what we’d like to see from the upcoming games in both series.
  • Saber Interactive are partnering with Jack Daniel’s for an NBA Playgrounds promotion. While it’s put the game back into the spotlight, it feels like Saber has missed a lot of opportunities with last year’s arcade hoops title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming saw some trial and error as we continued to incorporate some more structured playcalling into our gameplan during our most recent session of 2K Pro-Am. Meanwhile, new cards and challenges should hopefully keep the Ultimate Team experience fresh.
  • Whether you want to say that they’ve tipped off or kicked off, the 2018 NBA Playoffs are underway! We give our thoughts on the first four games of this year’s postseason, and offer up our predictions for the first round as a whole.
  • We wrap up Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast with the feel good story of the 2018 season, Andre Ingram.

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Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #243

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Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back after our break for Easter last week, ready to catch up on a fortnight worth of basketball gaming news, our own exploits on the virtual hardwood, and recent goings on in the real NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • We open Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with an amusing bit of trivia, as it seems we’re bigger fans of The Playground than Ronnie 2K!
  • March Modness has concluded, and the winner of the giveaway will be drawn soon. More mods are in the pipeline, of course.
  • The inaugural NBA 2K League Draft was held on April 4th. We discuss the Draft and the forthcoming League tip-off, and once again consider the future direction of the NBA 2K series.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming, we catch up on a fortnight of action on the virtual hardwood. Brighter days could be ahead for NLSC GrindTime, an Ultimate Team collection continues to expand, and a new squad forms in NBA Live 18.
  • We wrap up Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion. The 2018 Playoffs are looming and there are a lot of interesting subplots to consider, especially with several seeds yet to be determined. We also talk about MVP candidates, and some untimely injuries.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Annoying Stats Bugs in Basketball Games

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Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five annoying stats bugs that have shown up in various basketball games over the years.

Stats in basketball video games are perhaps just as important as they are in the real NBA. Sure, we want to see life-like animations, realistic strategy, and play games that feel good on the sticks, but accurate scores and statistics are a major factor in having as much realism as possible in a sim-oriented title. Even if you’re a gamer who takes a more casual approach to the accuracy of simulated and user-generated stats, chances are you’re interested in the stat-tracking aspect of basketball games, especially if you enjoy putting up big numbers on the virtual hardwood.

Unfortunately for gamers who care about stats one way another – whether it’s posting huge numbers every game, or enjoying a realistic style of gameplay with more true-to-life performances – various games have featured annoying bugs related to the in-game statistics. From undesirable sim engine results to errors with stat tracking and displays, these glitches have adversely affected some aspect of the numbers that are accumulated on the virtual hardwood. Be it a lack of accuracy or just a feeling of accomplishment that you feel cheated out of, here are five of the most annoying stats bugs that have been encountered in basketball video games.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #242

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Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss a couple of issues regarding transparency and goodwill in NBA Live and NBA 2K, recap another eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on the latest NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • There’s continued debate over the presence of loot crates and similar mechanics in video games, and whether or not it’s a form of gambling. Should NBA Live and NBA 2K contain in-game warnings to that effect, and be more transparent about the odds of crates and card packs?
  • With yet another Locker Code prize gone in seconds, we discuss whether something needs to change in regards to NBA Live and NBA 2K providing more in the way of complimentary content and rewards.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming featured the regular session of 2K Pro-Am, the return of the baseline reverse (among other dunks), adventures in custom shoe creation, and plenty of nostalgia in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including injuries to Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry, and a strange situation with Kawhi Leonard.

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Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #240

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Episode #240 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss another week in basketball gaming news, from the future of NBA Live to the NBA 2K League, as well as what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • An EA investor call made specific mention of NBA Live, and vaguely hinted at some of the goals and concepts for this year’s range of EA Sports titles. This should end any speculation that there are currently any plans to take another year off from NBA Live, though there’s still plenty to speculate upon as far as new features are concerned.
  • With the Combine in the books and analysis of the results complete, the 102 gamers who will be participating in the NBA 2K League have been chosen. The process hasn’t been without controversy, but in any event, the Draft will be taking place on April 4th.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming saw us return to 2K Pro-Am sooner than anticipated, in a session that turned out to be quite enjoyable, and a success for a newly equipped jumpshot animation. We also played a few games in MyCAREER and The One, hit up LIVE Events and the LIVE Pro-Am Tour, and continued to collect cards in Ultimate Team.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Quest for a Reliable Jumpshot

Shooting a jumpshot on MyCOURT (NBA 2K18)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some reflections on my experiences trying to find a reliable jumpshot for my MyPLAYER in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am.

When The Prelude was released in September last year, I agonised a little over the MyPLAYER Archetype I wanted to run with. Although I was tempted to run with a Pure Playmaker, I decided that I’d give Sharpshooting Playmaker a try. It seemed like a solid choice, especially as we wanted to make sure that we had at least a couple of viable threats from the outside on the NLSC’s 2K Pro-Am squad. Given that I like to rack up assists and run the offense, retaining the key skills and Badges of a Playmaker also seemed like a wise idea.

The results have been mixed. The Sharpshooting Playmaker Archetype doesn’t have a Hall of Fame level Badge, which locks me out of attaining one of the Trophies. As I’ve previously discussed, due to what seems to be an issue with my player’s dunking tendencies, I can very rarely throw down, even though I’ve upgraded my rating to be able to unlock a few fancy dunk packages. My biggest issue, however, is that I’m yet to find a jumpshot animation that I’m comfortable with. I’ve tried several jumpshots, from real players’ signature animations to custom jumpshots of various combinations. Unfortunately, none of them have been as reliable as I’d like.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #239

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Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the latest basketball gaming news, including NBA Live 18’s digital sales on PlayStation 4, a new branding opportunity for EA Sports, the aftermath of the NBA 2K League Combine, and our inaugural March Modness event. Also, the word “obviously” is overused. Obviously.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with the story behind our new design, specifically how it came to be launched earlier than expected.
  • Our inaugural March Modness event is underway! New mods will be coming throughout the month of March, and modders have a chance to win a copy of either NBA Live 19 or NBA 2K19, just by releasing new work.
  • NBA Live 18 is currently among the most popular titles in the PSN Store, indicating strong digital sales on PS4. Clearly, the discounts have been working as far as getting more people to try out the game.
  • EA Sports are also partnering with SportsCrate. We discuss the promising nature of the commercial partnerships in NBA Live 18, and what it means for the recovering strength of the brand.
  • And then there were 250! The top players from the NBA 2K League Combine have advanced to the next round, but will it have any affect on us casual 2K Pro-Am gamers?
  • We wrap up Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included another session of 2K Pro-Am where nothing was going right, and hitting The Streets with a brand new player in NBA Live 18.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #238

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Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane is back this week, joining me for a discussion of the frequent discounts on NBA Live 18, 15% off player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER, the 2018 All-Star Game, and some other topics related to basketball and basketball gaming from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • Before we get rolling on this week’s episode, we remind everyone to add their feedback to our NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists as soon as possible. Remember, suggestions left unsaid are guaranteed not to have an impact!
  • Are the constant sales for NBA Live 18 a bad sign and potentially harmful to future games, or a good move by EA Sports in their bid to win back the audience?
  • Player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER are 15% off through February 25th. It’s a nice gesture, but along with the Double XP promotions, we feel it leaves something to be desired.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included three 2K Pro-Am wins that should’ve been four, some great pulls in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team, and a continued inability to dunk in MyCAREER.
  • We wrap up Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast with some final reflections on the 2018 All-Star Weekend. We also catch up on some recent news, and look ahead to the looming postseason.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: What I’m Playing (February 2018 Edition)

Playing through Ultimate Team (NBA Live 18)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some quick thoughts on what I’m playing in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, at least as of February 2018.

NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 have been out for about five months now, and so far, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time playing both titles. As discussed in the latest episode the NLSC Podcast, I’ve settled into a routine as far as what I’m playing in each game. Although I might branch out and change things up from time to time, the modes I’m currently playing are the ones I expect I’ll remain hooked on until the 2019 season releases. As I’m running a bit short on time today and am still working on a few of other features that I hope you’ll find entertaining, I’ve decided to run with a quick column this week, discussing my current basketball gaming habits and rotation.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #237

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Episode #237 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join guest host The X and myself as we discuss the All-Star updates for NBA Live 18, the latest controversies involving NBA 2K18, and the first two days of the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • Since it’s The X’s first time on the NLSC Podcast, we talk a little about his history with basketball video games, as well as his tenure in the community.
  • NBA Live 18 has received some new updates, specifically accurate All-Star jerseys and trade deadline rosters. We’re glad to see the updates coming through a little more quickly.
  • New All-Star Fantasy Challenges have also been added to NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team. We’re liking the latest content, though there’s more we’d like to see added to the mode.
  • An Australian-exclusive Virtual Currency sale has accidentally been advertised worldwide, leading to some unhappy US gamers who weren’t aware of the restrictions on the promotion. 2K’s response to the issue left something to be desired.
  • In honour of the All-Star Weekend, NBA 2K18 offered Double Rep in MyCAREER and the connected modes, but the length of the event, not to mention the timing, could’ve been better.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming consisted of a couple of 2K Pro-Am sessions in NBA 2K18 that yielded mixed results, and Fantasy Challenges in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #237 of the NLSC Podcast with a recap of the first two days of the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. We have our gripes, but at the end of the day, we can certainly agree that it is what it is!

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Has Traditional Basketball Gaming Come to an End?

Taking on Kyrie Irving in MyCAREER (NBA 2K18)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the way basketball gaming has changed in recent years, and whether the traditional approach has become outmoded.

Basketball video games have obviously been around for a long time, bringing great enjoyment to people who love both the sport and gaming. Compared to other sports, basketball has proven to be a little harder to accurately represent in a video game, with so many variables affecting the level of realism. While arcade-oriented games often still hold up thanks to their casual approach, sim-oriented titles tend to show their age. Whether it’s the shot distribution, scores that are too high or too low, a lack of realistic strategy, or a shallow season mode experience, a lot of classic games do leave something to be desired, as much fun as we had with them when they were new.

Fortunately, basketball gaming has improved in leaps and bounds over the years. From deep and engaging modes to smarter AI and more realistic gameplay, we’ve been able to enjoy experiences on the virtual hardwood we could only dream of all those years ago. However, it feels as though basketball games have set a new course in recent years, shifting away from the experience that we’ve traditionally wanted. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s important that the games keep up with changing trends and demographics, but as we discussed in Episode #236 of the NLSC Podcast, it sometimes feels like traditional basketball gaming is coming to an end.

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Monday Tip-Off: An OT Victory for NLSC GrindTime

NLSC GrindTime Boxscore in 2K Pro-Am (NBA 2K18)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a video of a recent overtime victory for our official 2K Pro-Am squad in NBA 2K18, NLSC GrindTime.

As Arcane and I discussed in Episode #235 of the NLSC Podcast, last Friday we made an unlikely return to 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K18. After some rough sessions and generally feeling disenfranchised with the game, everyone on the squad decided that it would be best to take a break. However, we felt like giving it another try last week, and subsequently, “just one game” became three. We were victorious in the latter two games, with the second win coming in overtime following a clutch three-pointer by The X. It was definitely one of the more satisfying games NLSC GrindTime has had.

Since I saved the footage of the final few seconds of regulation, as well as the entire overtime period, I thought I’d share it with everyone to tip off a new week of gaming here at the NLSC. Watch it below, or check it out here on our YouTube channel.

Moving forward, NLSC GrindTime might have a run every now and again. As I’ve previously discussed, it’s a wise idea to take a break from a game if it’s becoming more frustrating than fun. It may not be something we do every week, as was the case with NLSC THRILLHO in NBA 2K17, but as long as we can have some competitive games and wins like this one, we’ll hit up 2K Pro-Am from time to time. I’ll be sure to share any noteworthy highlights, as well as put together some other video content throughout 2018, so please subscribe to our channel, and stay tuned for more features.

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Monday Tip-Off: A Stop Sign on the Road to 99

Road to 99: 99 Overall

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on losing interest in MyCAREER, and the long grind on the Road to 99 in NBA 2K18.

As I mentioned yesterday in my first attempt at hosting the NLSC Podcast solo – don’t worry, I’m not intending on making that a regular occurrence! – I’ve lost my interest in MyCAREER and its connected modes. This is in stark contrast to last year in NBA 2K17, where I reached the second season. I even played twelve minute quarters and abstained from simulating, except for a few minutes of garbage time in a handful of games towards the end of my rookie year. Although we briefly took a break from the mode, the NLSC’s official 2K Pro-Am squad was also active throughout the year. In short, I had a lot of fun with MyCAREER and the connected online experience.

That hasn’t been the case this year. I’ve spoken before about the lack of goodwill, and the ridiculous in-universe value of Virtual Currency. On the Podcast, we’ve discussed our frustration with the lack of balance and proper matchmaking in online gameplay, as well as some of the gameplay quirks that bother us the most. Admirably, Arcane is already through to his second season, and currently sits at 92 Overall. I did intend to grind my way to at least 90 Overall – I’m presently at 89 – but right now, I can’t see it happening. Forget about 2K Pro-Am; at this point, I’m not interested in playing the single player experience of MyCAREER. I’ve reached a stop sign on the Road to 99.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #231

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Episode #231 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we tip off a new season of the NLSC Podcast by catching up on all of the NBA Live 18, NBA 2K18, and NBA Playgrounds news from the holiday season, and look ahead to another year of basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • LIVESTRIKE events have been keeping gamers busy in NBA Live 18 over the holidays. They’ve even offered the opportunity to win some real swag!
  • The new City Edition uniforms have been unveiled, and are now available in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18. What do we think of Nike’s new secondary alternate jerseys?
  • Patches 1.07 and 1.08 have resolved a handful of issues in NBA 2K18. Some new historical players have also been added to the roster.
  • Game Informer has named NBA 2K18 as the Sports Game of the Year for the second year running. The response from the community has been…less enthusiastic.
  • With the NBA 2K League qualifiers underway, we talk about the controversy regarding the number of spots that are actually open to members of the community.
  • An Enhanced Edition of NBA Playgrounds has been released for the Nintendo Switch, alleviating the problems Saber Interactive has been having in pushing through new content on the platform.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included what may be our last session of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K18, online Head-to-Head in NBA Live 18, and an assortment of LIVE Events. We also talk about our basketball gaming plans for 2018.
  • We wrap up Episode #231 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of some recent achievements by our fellow Australians in the NBA.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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